Correctional Officers in the United States may have to scrimp and save; the median compensation is $36K annually. Location is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and experience level are driving factors as well. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Correctional Officers who answered the questionnnaire. For the most part, Correctional Officers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$26,196 - $61,275
$26K
$36K
$61K
MEDIAN: $35,957
10%
50%
90%

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$10.94 - $21.89
$11
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$26,196 - $61,275  
   
Bonus
$120.00 - $5,040  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,947 - $56,933  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 957
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.94 - $21.89  
   
Overtime
$15.48 - $40.68  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$120.00 - $5,040  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,947 - $56,933  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 730

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.

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Correctional Officer Tasks

  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.
  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer


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It's not very common for Correctional Officers to move on to become Registered Nurses. Average pay for a Registered Nurse is $56K annually. With an annual salary of $36K, Corrections Officer is the most common role for Correctional Officers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Security Officer role — which usually pays $25K — is also typical for Correctional Officers, though less common by comparison.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Correctional Officers, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, The GEO Group, Inc., Dept. of Corrections, and Federal Bureau of Prisons are leading firms in the industry. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, NYSDocs offers the most; Correctional Officers earn $59K on average there. Correctional Officers can also look forward to large paychecks at Federal Bureau of Prisons ($51K), Oregon Department of Corrections ($47K), and Management and Training Corporation ($38K).

Employees at State of Tennessee (TN), Florida Department of Corrections, and Indiana Department of Corrections can also expect below-average earnings of $31K, $32K, and $33K.

Popular Skills for Correctional Officer


Correctional Officers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance, Transport, and Oral / Verbal Communication are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 42 percent, 14 percent, and 3 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Security Risk Management, Writing Procedures & Documentation, and Military. Aptitude in Oral / Verbal Communication tends to also indicate an understanding of Security Policies and Procedures.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $32K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $36K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Correctional Officers make a median salary of $39K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Correctional Officer with more than 20 years of experience can earn $48K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $34,889

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Correctional Officers, working in the bustling city of Los Angeles has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Correctional Officers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+31 percent), Baltimore (+17 percent), Salem (+15 percent), and Phoenix (+9 percent). The lowest-paying market is Raleigh, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Employers in Lawton and Florida also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

Correctional Officer Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Correctional Officer?

Correctional Officer in Cleburne:
"Ugh...."
Pros: What I like most is the stability. It is job security because there will always be someone breaking the law. And it pays my bills...well somewhat pays them.
Cons: It is dark and depressing. There is no appreciation for anything you do. I was told I can move up in the company but employees that have been there less time then me are getting picked over me. Plus, they want me to treat people like they are dirt all because they are jail and I just cant do that.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Correctional Officer

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 162 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
9%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 37%



National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 42%

Transport
up arrow 14%



People Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Military
up arrow 3%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 17%

Security Risk Management
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 162 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
vision benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 12%
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